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Switzerland moves a little closer to the European Defense Agency

(credit: Armasuisse)

(BRUSSELS2) The 27 and Switzerland should approve, on November 30, a cooperation agreement allowing the Swiss confederation to participate in the work and projects of the European Defense Agency. It will allow Switzerland to participate in the exchange of information that takes place at the agency (with the same confidentiality obligations that apply between members) and to decide, on a case-by-case basis, to be able to participate in the various projects developed.

The Swiss government was quite demanding of this agreement. In Bern, it is estimated that this participation will allow Switzerland “ to establish its position as a center of research and technology and would be very profitable for its arms industry”. It also corresponds to the Swiss desire to renouncing independent developments in favor of international cooperation, when Switzerland can achieve economic optimization in this way or gain access to new technologies ". However, this collaboration does not arouse unanimity in Switzerland. The negotiating mandate drawn up in 2009 was therefore not approved by all parties. And it was only in the upper house that a majority could be obtained.

The European Defense Agency has already signed such a cooperation agreement with Norway. Another still remains in discussion with Turkey, but it is blocked at the political level.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).